Sunday, June 14, 2009

A day of eating: Part I (Bills, Surry hills)

Bills @ Surry Hills

The reason why the entry is entitled as such is because Sarah and I really ate and ate throughout the day. Brunch, tea and dinner: Could it get any worse? All those calories that I’ve burnt during my swim has come to naught. That aside, I’m glad to have a food-loving friend with me.

The day started with brunch at Bills. Most of you would be familiar with the name Bill Granger. He’s a celebrity chef in Australia or more accurately, he’s a celebrity chef in New South Wales. If you look at some of his TV programmes such as Simply Bill, you would find Bondi beach as well as Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of the backdrop. We heard about good reviews about the brunch at Bills so we headed to our new favourite haunt, Surry Hills for a taste of that.

Most of my LCB friends know that I love pancakes and I am on a search for the best pancakes in town on behalf of my sis (my fellow pancake lover) and I. So far, my search has been pretty futile as I’ve been let down time and time again by dense and thick pancakes or pancakes drowned in sugary maple syrup. Horrid.

On hearing raved reviews about the ricotta pancakes at Bills, I knew that I have to try it. Upon reaching Bills at about 1pm, the desire to have anything sweet has disappeared. Replacing that was my hunger for real food. I need my savoury, my carbs and my proteins. I ended up with an open prawn sandwich with fennel slaw, argula salad with a homemade caper mayonnaise.

One impressive thing about Bills is that they have Himalayan pink sea salt on the side. Have you tried that stuff? If you have, you would turn your backs against the chemical tasting salt or I prefer to call it sodium chloride. I think the pink sea salt is the next best thing to fleur de sel from Guérande.

Sarah ordered the wagyu beef burger with beetroot, tomato relish and zucchini pickles. Have I mentioned that the Aussies really like their beetroot? I think that’s great cause I really love the beetroot for its intense purplish-red colour and its smooth and soft texture. On the side note, I watched an episode of Masterchef Australia and they made smoked beetroot. Can you imagine how it would taste like?

The prawn sandwich I had was really simple. I mean really, it’s just a sandwich right? While I thought it was overpriced, it was good. The ingredients were fresh- one of Bills’ philosophy and everything was made from scratch. Double points for that really.
Open-faced prawn sandwich

The wagyu beef burger could do with more seasoning but it was quite fine really. I love the caramelized onions that came with that. However, I think that having wagyu beef as minced is overrated. I think it’s just a trendy name to be found a menu. To me, if you want to have wagyu, have the wagyu steak. Other items are just not worth eating for they just taste like any other beef especially when you are using mince!

Wagyu beef burger

The atmosphere at Bills is pretty noisy actually because of the acoustics of the place so it is a place that you go with friends but definitely not somewhere you would want to bring your date to. The décor is pretty nice and clean and the kitchen follows the trendy open-kitchen concept.

Its menu is pretty simple; nothing too fancy for it focuses on the doing the minimal with the freshest ingredients. That’s a philosophy that I would like to adhere to.

I’ll be back for the pancakes.
Till my mission is accomplished.

Bills, Surry Hills

359 Crown Street

Surry Hills

NSW 2010


T +61 2 9360 4762

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